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India caps text messages to curb telemarketing, Desi teens plot mutiny

Amar Toor, @amartoo
09.29.11
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SMS-based telemarketing is a serious problem in India -- so serious, in fact, that the government has decided to crack down in a pretty severe way. As of this week, every Indian mobile user or company is allowed to send only 100 text messages per day, as part of a new anti-spam initiative from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. The move is just the latest in a series of campaigns to combat a boom in aggressive telemarketing that, according to some, borders on harassment. Authorities say spam phone calls have already declined significantly since 2007, when the government instituted a national "do not call" registry, yet the problem persists, with many users complaining of receiving commercial texts during the wee hours of the night. Regulators seem confident that these new rules will go a long way toward solving this riddle, though some have been left wondering why India's millions of mobile subscribers should pay the price, rather than the spammers themselves. The Los Angeles Times, meanwhile, is reporting that subcontinental telemarketers have already begun circumventing the new regulations by re-focusing their efforts on junk mail, ad-based Twitter feeds and other ways to be just as annoying as they ever were.

[Image courtesy of Thomas Hawk]

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